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Young distance runners growing up fast

There is a changing of the guard underway in girls' long-distance track in the North Bay League.

The vanguard of this change — freshman Delaney White of Santa Rosa, sophomore Andrea Natoli of Maria Carrillo and freshman Saskia Van Ommeren-Egberts of Casa Grande — displayed their formidable abilities competing head-to-head on Wednesday in an NBL triangular meet at Maria Carrillo.

The 1600-meter race was the prime event featuring the trio, arguably the top three girls distance track runners in the Redwood Empire. White won (5:20.31), Van Ommeren-Egberts finished second (5:23.40) and Natoli placed third (5:30.09). It was a tight race for the first three laps before White pulled away in the fourth and final lap to win relatively easy.

"The whole plan was to draft behind Andrea," White said. "I don't race smart so my coaches and I have been trying to figure out strategies to race smarter."

The drafting strategy worked. Natoli led White by a few strides for the first three laps before White seized the final lap with a jolt of energy. Natoli had no reserve left for the final lap.

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